"The SLANT-O-MATIC - the greatest sewing machine ever built!"
Well that's what Singer told new owners back in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It really is quite a claim and probably an indefensible statement. I am however quite fond of my example of the breed.
I don't know how anyone couldn't fall for the streamlined 1950s styling of the Singer 401G. Part Hillman Minx and part Roberts Radio - what's not to love?
Now I am prepared to accept that 401G might not be everyone's cup of tea but there is no denying that this machine was a range-topper in its day and, if one can bond with one, these machines still offer a lot to the domestic sewer.
What really strikes me about this machine is the general quality and attention to detail on offer. How thoughtful that the faceplate is hinged for cleaning and oiling and that on the inside is a threading diagram for both needle and bobbin? The feed is fully reversible and, after the anonymous chrome knobs of the 28K and 15K, the clearly labelled indicator plate is a doddle to use.
AK3 is the setting needed to obtain a straight stitch
The top of the machine opens to reveal yet another handy diagram. This one shows the settings needed to obtain some of the many stitches the machine can produce. The circular space int the top of the machine is where pattern cams can be fitted in order to obtain even more patterns. This machine was originally supplied with five cams.
Now those of you have been following the blog will remember that I had tracked down a set of tool drawers to match this machine. The way these work alongside the machine and its extension table is typical of Singer's thoughtfulness at this date.
Notice the spring clips on the extension table and the profile of the edge of the tool drawers
The extension table clicks onto the top of the tool drawers
The unit attaches to the bed of the machine, the extension table is supported by the tool drawers and the overall result puts me in mind of an aircraft carrier.
And when ones is done the whole lot packs away beautifully. It's no bigger than a large brief case but it weighs a lot more.